§ Mr. Adley
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the use of the Red Cross sign for party political purposes, by the Labour party in a pamphlet about the National Health Service; and if he will instigate immediate proceedings to protect the rights to the use thereof residing with his Department.
§ Mr. Freeman
On 17 February 1988, the British Red Cross Society drew to the attention of my Department a pamphlet and a leaflet published by the Labour party about the National Health Service which appeared to bear the Red Cross emblem or an emblem closely resembling it. Under the terms of the Geneva conventions, Her Majesty's Government are under an obligation to take measures to prevent unauthorised use of the Red Cross emblem or any sign or designation which constitutes an imitation of it. The Geneva Conventions Act 1957 makes it an offence for any person to use the Red Cross emblem without the authority of the Defence Council, or, without the authority of the Board of Trade, any design so nearly resembling it as to be capable of being mistaken for it. As no such authorities have been given, the matter has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.